Claire Cook’s Life’s a Beach is not a page-turner, but in a good way! The detailed description of the protagonist’s life and her constant interior monologue pulls you into that life and almost makes you part of it. Ginger Walsh becomes someone you know very well, and you want to help her somehow, at least with advice. Like other heroines in Cook’s novels, Ginger is lonely, but not because she’s an introvert or an unlikeable person, but because, despite living close to her loving family and being in a relationship with a boyfriend, she can’t decide what she wants to do with her life or who she wants to tie herself to permanently, if ever. At forty-one, she’s still searching. She feels an artistic streak in herself, and takes up making sea glass jewelry, but she has no confidence in her abilities to create art. She needs a “push” that would make her believe in herself. Partly, she gets it from her mother who reminds her, “Ever since you were tiny, you always had to find the hardest way to do everything. Remember, Virginia, you choose your life or it chooses you.” You choose your life or it chooses you. So true, isn’t it? And I also love what Ginger’s boyfriend, Noah, a talented glassblower, tells her. He says, “Passion is the key to everyone’s gifts.” Perfect! Anyone who strives to achieve something in life should remember it. Passion is the key! Overall, I like the optimism in the novel.